Development of a new curriculum framework for children and young people with vision impairment: a United Kingdom consultation using the Delphi approach

Rachel Hewett*, Graeme Douglas, Mike McLinden, Linda James

*Corresponding author for this work

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This article presents the research and development that underpins the Curriculum Framework for Children and Young People with Vision Impairment (CFVI): a new unifying framework that outlines the breadth of support that should be received by children and young people with vision impairment (CYPVI) in the United Kingdom (UK). The study used the Delphi method as a systematic process of participatory consultation with key stakeholders. Three rounds of consultation took place with a panel of 48 participants including young people, parents, professionals, and professional training providers. This process resulted in the agreed 11 curriculum areas of the CFVI with high levels of agreement and satisfaction among participants. The development of the CFVI responds to established evidence of the distinctive challenges to learning associated with childhood vision impairment, and the importance of addressing these through targeted intervention approaches. Drawing on a dual model of access (‘access to learning’ and ‘learning to access’), the framework acknowledges that these approaches should promote inclusive education by balancing universal inclusive practice with specialist skills-based interventions. Such an approach captures ‘what matters’ to the field of vision impairment education – ensuring fair access to a shared curriculum and education system while developing the specialist skills to develop personal agency and increase independence. The article is original in reporting on the development of the first curriculum framework for CYPVI in the UK. The CFVI was launched in March 2022 and provides clarity about what should be taught, when, and by whom. The CFVI promises a transformative contribution to UK policies and practice in ensuring CYPVI and their families will more easily be able to navigate complex education systems and secure equitable access to the services to which they are entitled.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalBritish Journal of Visual Impairment
Early online date23 Jun 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Jun 2023


  • CFVI
  • children and young people
  • Delphi method
  • inclusive education
  • specialist curriculum
  • vision impairment


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